A win for taxpayers: Jury sides with City of St. Louis in eminen - KMOV.com

A win for taxpayers: Jury sides with City of St. Louis in eminent domain case

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Paul McKee (Credit: KMOV) Paul McKee (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

UPDATE: In court Thursday, jurors, deliberating for roughly twenty minutes, sided with the City of St. Louis, saying the city would owe $573,000. The property owner, Jim Osher, sought $5.5 million. 

The jury awarded Osher the lowest threshold they could consider. 

Outside of the court, Osher declined to comment.

"We've got an owner here who had gotten tax credits and tax abatement from the city for trying to redo a building nearby. So I think all of this is a message. This jury listened, they were very attentive for two weeks and I think rendered an appropriate verdict," said Jerry Carmody, an attorney representing the city in the case. He called the decision a win for taxpayers. 

*Previous Story*

The developer who gobbled up hundreds of properties in north St. Louis in what he says is an effort to revitalize the area has taken the stand in court for a second day.

The trial has to do with your tax money. St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson has now called for an investigation, after what's come up at this trial and what News 4 uncovered back in December. It all has to do with the property where the Buster Brown shoe factory used to be.

The city took the property through eminent domain to make way for a new headquarters of a federal agency.

The owner, Jim Osher, is fighting to get the most money for the property from the city.

But in the meantime attorneys for the city suggest that Paul McKee, a developer involved on the Northside intentionally inflated the price of the property in previous sales to get tax credits. In all, he got more than $43 million worth of tax credits from the state.

"We've got an owner here who had gotten tax credits and tax abatement from the city for trying to redo a building nearby. So I think all of this is a message. This jury listened, they were very attentive for two weeks and I think rendered an appropriate verdict," said Jerry Carmody, an attorney representing the city in the case. 

McKee took the stand Monday but afterward would not provide any comment.

An attorney for McKee has previously denied they inflated sales prices. All this could have an impact on how much the public could end up shelling out. 

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